Complete Guide To Choose the Best Bike Panniers & Cycling Bags
One of the best ways to carry your stuff between your home and work is a bike pannier. These bags are designed to easily attach and detach from your bike’s rear rack so that they’re secure when you’re riding and easy to carry into your office or around town after you park your bike.
Quick Answer : Best Bicycle Panniers.
There are a lot of different styles of bike panniers available on the market, featuring a variety of designs. All that choice can make it hard to find the pannier that’s right for your needs.
That’s why in this article we’ll explain everything you need to know about choosing the best bike pannier and highlight 10 of the best panniers for bike commuting.
We hope you will love the products recommended here,FYI we may get a small share of the sale if you buy through our links and it will not affect product price in any way
Guide to Choose The Best Commuter Bikes
Best Two-bag Panniers - BV Bike Bag Panniers
This pair of panniers from BV Bike offers plenty of storage space for all your stuff. Each bag has a large main compartment that holds up to 13 liters of volume, making them perfect for both commuting and bike touring. The central compartments are equipped with pull tabs for easy access.
These bicycle panniers come with an adjustable hook attachment system that makes it easy to mount them on almost any bike. The central strap can make it hard to add a third bag directly on top of your rack, though, which was one thing we didn't love.
This pair of bike panniers comes with a few handy extra features to keep you on the move. There's a carry strap in the center of the bags, making it simple to to pull them off the bike. The bike panniers also have high visibility 3M reflective tape to help keep you visible while biking at night.
One thing to keep in mind is that these bags are not waterproof panniers at all. In fact, they're hardly water resistant. So, if you live in a wet area, they might not be the best choice for you.
Best Shoulder Bag Pannier - Ibera Bike Trunk Bag
If you're looking for a high quality bike pannier that can double as an everyday bag to bring into the office, this pannier is a great choice. It sits on the top of your bike rack and clips in with a simple plastic bottom hook that acts like a quick-release handle. It only takes a few seconds to get the pannier securely in place or to take it off the bike. Keep in mind that for this cam lock mounting system to work, you must use one of several compatible Ibera bike racks on your bike.
Another nice thing about this bag that makes it one of the best panniers for commuting is that it comes with built in shoulder straps. The shoulder strap is even padded for comfort, which is a plus. You can stuff the straps securely away in a pocket while riding and easily convert the pannier into a shoulder bag for walking around the city.
The storage space inside this bag isn't huge, which can be a problem if you have a lot of gear. That said, it works well for sensitive electronics because the main compartment is padded. Another plus is that the zipper extends all the way around the back, giving you easy access to your gear. There are also two small pockets on either site for your smaller items, and a handle on the rear of the bag where you can place a rear light.
Best High Capacity Bike Panniers - M Wave Cycling Bag
This enormous set of bicycle panniers from M-Wave offers storage space for your biggest rides. The bag comes with two large hanging panniers, plus another pannier that sits on the top of your rack. The main compartment in each of the side bags is close to 15 liters, putting them among the best bike panniers for touring as well as commuting.
The bag isn't especially easy to get on and off your bike since it's so large, which is one downside. But if you do want to walk away from your bike with your bike panniers, the top bag has backpack straps that enable it to turn into a pannier backpack. One especially nice thing about this pannier backpack is that it has a built in mesh to carry your helmet.
The M-Wave Cycling Bag is made with 600-denier ripstop nylon, which is extremely strong. It's also somewhat water resistant, although it would be a stretch to say these is a waterproof pannier. Rainproof zippers help keep water off your gear in a drizzle.
Best Budget Pannier - Roswheel 3 in 1 Expedition Touring Pannier
This enormous set of bicycle touring panniers works just as well for commuting with a lot of gear. The pannier set is priced very affordably, yet high quality. It also includes three bags - one for each side of your bike rack, plus another that sits on top of the rack. The bags are use a Velcro strap mounting system, so there are no tools needed and they are compatible with almost any bike racks on the market.
These bike panniers offer a total volume of 37 liters, which makes them perfect if you commute to the office with extra clothes, a computer, food, and lots of other items. The top bag uses a buckle attachment system to connect to the rear panniers, so you can easily pull it off and take it into your workplace.
The bags are made with 1000-denier ripstop polyester with a water resistant polyurethane coating. The bags are extremely durable and built to last for years of riding. In addition, the rear panniers feature reflective handles and reflective logos to help you be seen in low-light conditions.
Interchangeable Carry System Pannier - Ibera Bicycle Bag PakRak All Weather Pannier
This versatile set of bike panniers from Ibera is designed to work within their PakRak rear carry system, which is a major advantage for bike commuters who want the ability to swap out bags within an integrated carry system quickly. However, the panniers work well even without a PakRak rack or other Ibera bags since the clip-on rail mounting system is easy to adjust to nearly any standard rear bike rack.
The bike pannier itself offers a relatively high degree of organization for commuters thanks to a top zippered compartment and two large interior pockets for documents and other supplies you’d like to separate from the voluminous interior. Note, however, that there is no padded laptop compartment. The bags can also be overfilled thanks to a drawstring closure, which is perfect for commuters who are carrying clothes or an extra jacket in their pannier.
The bags are cinched closed with an adjustable strap system, although this does take a few seconds to adjust compared to other similar buckle closure systems. The strap system isn't as secure as a roll top closure, so these shouldn't be considered waterproof panniers. While the water resistant material will keep your stuff dry in a drizzle, in heavier rain, you’ll need to wrap the pannier in the included rain fly.
Best Waterproof Panniers - Ortlieb Back Roller Classic City Pannier
This roll-top pannier from Ortlieb is as simple as pannier designs get, but that doesn’t take away from the utility of this bag.
The Ortlieb pannier is constructed with a single large interior compartment and essentially no organization, so it is ideal for commuters who prefer to stuff their belongings into the bag rather than keep everything separated. The downside to this design is that it can be hard to keep track of any small items you put into the pannier, like a phone or keys.
Ortlieb designed this bike pannier to seal with a roll-top closure, which along with the heavy-duty PVC-coated polyester fabric and welded seams allows it to be fully waterproof. In fact, these are by far the best waterproof panniers we've seen. However, a major downside to this pannier for commuters who park their bike far from their office is that the roll top design does not double as a carry handle. Ortlieb offers an accessory shoulder strap that can be added to this pannier, but they are sold separately.
One of the nice things about the Ortlieb Back Roller Classic is that the mounting system fits any rack with rails up to 16 mm in diameter and is extremely easy to get on and off the bike thanks to a quick release mechanism. At the same time, the pannier is secure when you’re riding.
Overall Best Bike Panniers for Commuting - Timbuk2 Tandem Pannier
This stylish and adaptable pannier from Timbuk2 is in many ways the ideal bag for the everyday bike commuter.
First, the bike pannier features just the right amount of organization. It has a zippered pocket on the outside flap for keeping track of and easily accessing small valuables like your phone, wallet, and keys. On the inside, there’s a stretchable mesh pocket to fit a laptop up to 15 inches. The rest of the pannier is a single large compartment that allows you to stuff everything from clothes to shoes to lunch food.
Second, Timbuk2 paid attention to the need to carry the pannier off the bike. The pannier comes with a removable shoulder strap to allow it to be carried like a messenger bag once you park your bike. Also, there is a sturdy carry handle on the top of the bag that you can use for short walks into the office.
The only downside to this pannier is that it’s water resistant, not waterproof, and doesn’t come standard with a rain cover for riding on bad weather days.
Best Bicycle Panniers for Urban Commuting - Bushwhacker Omaha Bike Panniers
These creatively designed bike panniers from Bushwhacker are perfect if you're using your bike to get around town. The bike panniers have an open basket design that's much simpler than most of the other bag options we looked at. You can easily drop stuff into the pannier without a lot of organization or pull gear out without having to go through multiple compartments.
We also love using these bike panniers for grocery shopping after work. Each pair of panniers is designed to fit two standard grocery bags, and they're strong enough to resist tearing if you're carrying heavy items. In fact, we'd say these are the best bike panniers if you're headed to the grocery store.
The panniers don't have many extra features to note, which makes the high price tag per pair somewhat surprising. They also don't have reflective tape, and it can be hard to mount a light on the front or rear of the baskets. They're also not particularly easy to take on or off the bike, as you need to use a series of bungees and hooks. If you do take them off the bike, one plus is that they can fold flat for easy storage.
Venzo Waterproof Bike Bicycle Rear Rack Pannier Bag
This watertight pannier from Venzo is an ideal bag choice for commuters who are riding to work in rainy weather frequently. The pannier appears as if it might not be fully watertight because of the flap and buckle closure over the opening, but don’t let that fool you – underneath the flap is a roll closure that ensures your stuff is fully protected from water seeping in. Venzo also sealed all of the seams on this bag, and the fabric is made of 600-denier nylon, so you can be certain your stuff will remain dry in any weather.
Another advantage to this pannier is the removable shoulder strap that comes included with the bag. You can store it inside the pannier when you’re riding, then attach it once you park the bike.
Although the fabric is heavy duty, it’s worth noting that this pannier is not designed for off-road use. Rocks and other sharp objects will scratch and rip the fabric over time, which in turn will make it susceptible to leaks. Also, the pannier lacks the simple, quick release system found on more sophisticated packs from brands like Ortlieb or Ibera – so expect to spend a minute wrestling with the pannier to get it on and off your rear rack.
Two Wheel Gear Convertible Pannier
This pannier from Two Wheel Gear combines the best of both worlds of commuting with a pannier and a backpack by being both at the same time. Once you park your bike, unzip the back panel of the pannier to reveal a set of shoulder straps that can be clipped into buckles on either side of the bottom of the bag to allow it to be carried like a backpack. The transition only takes seconds, and you can zip the straps back inside when it’s time to ride home. Also, there’s a top carry handle for short carries when it’s not worth converting to a backpack.
While some commuters might appreciate the backpack-style organization of this pannier – it features multiple zippered pockets and a 15-inch laptop sleeve – this also severely limits the space available within the pannier. Also, be wary of putting items in the exterior mesh pockets while riding, as this is an easy way to lose a water bottle.
The pannier is constructed from 6000-denier TPE-coated polyester, which is water resistant but not waterproof for days when there is heavy rain or standing water on the road. The pannier comes with a rain fly for riding in wet conditions.
Panniers vs. Backpacks
Almost every commuter looking to carry their stuff between their home and office on their bike will be faced with a choice – do you put all your gear in a standard backpack and carry it on your back, or do you load that gear into a pannier to put the weight on your bike frame?
There are advantages and disadvantages to both options, although a large proportion of bike commuters opt for panniers because of the ease of carrying they offer. Panniers sit on a frame over the rear wheel of your bike, which puts the weight of the pannier and the stuff inside it onto the frame of your bike rather than on your back where it can cause pain. While weighting the frame in this spot can affect the acceleration, handling, and braking of your bike, the effect is minimal for commuters who only have a small volume of stuff and typically will not affect your riding.
One downside to panniers is that they typically offer slightly less organizational capacity compared to backpacks. While some panniers offer exterior zippers, there are very few pockets since your gear has the potential to escape from any unenclosed compartments on a pannier. Although many commuter-specific panniers offer a laptop sleeve on the inside similar to commuter backpacks, don’t expect a wealth of pockets to micro-manage your belongings.
The other thing to consider whether panniers are right for you is whether you typically ride the same bike to work every day. Since panniers require a rear rack, you’ll need to move the rack onto another bike if you want to take a different ride – which can be a hassle.
However, if you are riding the same bike most of the time, you can leave the rack on even when you won’t be bringing pannier bags along with you.
Types of Panniers
There are a few main types of panniers available for different riding purposes – specifically, you’ll want to consider whether a pannier for touring or commuting is better for your needs.
As the name suggests, the majority of bike commuters opt for commuting panniers. These bags are typically waterproof and able to handle the light to moderate wear and tear of daily rides, plus have some internal organization such as laptop sleeves. Commuter panniers also often feature options for carrying them off the bike, such as top handles, convertible backpack straps, or shoulder straps, in anticipation of your need to get your gear from wherever you park your bike to your office.
Touring panniers are specifically designed with long-distance cyclists in mind, but these panniers can also be suitable for heavy-duty commuters. Touring panniers are often extremely rugged in design, made from fabrics that are nearly impervious to water and rips.
In contrast to commuting panniers, touring panniers typically lack any organization or simple method for carrying them off the bike, which can make them more difficult for commuters to use.
Considering how much gear you routinely need to carry to and from work is another major factor in choosing the right pannier bag for your commute. Many pannier bags are less than 10 liters in volume, which offers plenty of space for a computer, a sack lunch, files, and even some clothing. However, commuters who need to carry a full change of clothes for work, including extra shoes, may find themselves in need of larger panniers.
Note That :
While there are plenty of high-quality high-capacity panniers available, it’s also possible to carry two panniers. Splitting your stuff across two panniers rather than putting everything into one big pannier can also help to balance the load across your bike, which improves handling.
Ease of carrying
Most bike commuters don’t have the luxury of parking their bike inside their office every day, which means you’ll need a way to conveniently carry your pannier bag from your bike to your office. Many commuter-specific pannier bags offer some form of alternative carry, although this can be as minimal as just a single grab handle on the top of the bag. If you have a long walk after you park your bike, or want to use your pannier as your main travel bag for the rest of the day, look for a pannier that offers backpack straps, a tote-style handle, or a shoulder sling strap.
While nearly all touring panniers are waterproof, not all commuting-specific panniers offer impermeability to water. If you ride in all weather, it’s important to find one of the best waterproof bags. Your bag is likely to get a lot of splash from your rear wheel and the road.
Waterproofing is important for even fair-weather commuters to consider since any residual water on the road can splash up and get your gear wet if your pannier is not fully waterproof.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a bike rack to carry my pannier?
Yes, panniers require a compatible bike rack to clip on securely to your bike. Thankfully, most panniers and racks are compatible with each other, so you can find the rack that works best for your bike without worrying whether your panniers will fit on it.
Do I need to ride with two panniers?
You don’t have to ride with two panniers, but you’ll see many cyclists riding with two bags and many panniers are sold in pairs rather than as single bags. The reason for this is that riding with two bags, with the weight of your gear distributed equally between them, helps balance the load across your bike, so one side is not heavier than the other. This helps with your bike handling, especially when making tight turns.
Can I use two different pannier styles on the same rack?
Yes! Most panniers are designed to be compatible with nearly any rack on the market, so you shouldn’t have a problem putting one style of pannier on one side of the rack and another style of pannier on the other side. Just make sure to balance out the weight if one pannier weighs significantly more than the other.
Are panniers secure?
It seems too good to be true that panniers can attach to the rack so easily and still be secure, but they are! Modern pannier attachment systems are designed so that it’s almost impossible for your panniers to accidentally fall off, no matter how bumpy the road you’re riding on is.
Choosing the right pannier for bike commuting comes down to your needs, including how much stuff you plan to carry, whether you need one of the best waterproof bags to ride on rainy days, and whether you have a long walk from where you park your bike to your office.
The overall best pannier for the majority of commuters based on our best bike pannier reviews is the Timbuk2 Tandem Pannier. This versatile and well-designed pannier features a zippered exterior pocket for making sure you can quickly access your small valuables like your keys and wallet, while the interior space features a laptop sleeve and plenty of room to stuff clothing and other items.
The pannier also offers to carry options off the bicycle, including a removable shoulder strap and a sturdy top carry handle. While the pannier is not fully waterproof and doesn’t come with a rain fly, it is easy to find a suitable rain fly after-market. On top of all that, the pannier works with almost any standard rear rack on the market.